Dianthus caryophyllus ‘Grenadin’ (carnations) have a wonderful scent that floats on the breeze around the garden right now. These are good-looking perennials with vivid blooms, and attractive grassy foliage.
The carnations get a part shade site, with more sun than shade, but still they lean a bit, and would probably appreciate even more light. One maple tree branch has grown, and casts more of a shadow over this bed this year. I’m going to have to cut the branch back. These perennials like it sunny. Despite the partial shade, they are being good sports, and are covered in blooms.
Carnatons have a memorable fragrance. Even a half dozen plants are enough to send their perfume over this section of the garden. In early summer I was disappointed when my peonies finished blooming, thinking that the last of my favourite scented flowers were finished. However, the Dianthus are blooming now, and they provide their own sensory delight. Their delightful scent is as intense as their blossom colour.
The flowers of these Dianthus caryophyllus are a rich dark pink. The colour is so vivid, that I had trouble getting good pictures of these plants. My unaltered photos kept looking like I had turned the saturation up to a surreal setting in a photo editor. I’ve actually been taking shots of them for a couple of weeks, in different lighting, but these were the most natural looking I could take. Most of my photos gave them an unnatural day-glo look, not like the real blooms. I have some carnations that are extra puffy doubles, like the ones below, and some that appear semi-double like the ones above.
The leaves of D. caryophyllus are long and very narrow with a bluish grey colour. The foliage makes a nice contrast to other solid green leaf tones and more rounded shaped leaves. Although when the flowers start to bloom, the foliage is not nearly as noticeable.
These perennials fade out after 2 or 3 years in my garden, so I divide them or plant new ones every few years. It’s not so much the cold, as they are just naturally shorter lived plants. You could also take cuttings to keep them going. They will not grace the garden with permanence like the peony that grows behind them, but I admire their splendid flowers and perfume.
You can read about some more fragrant plants in an earlier post. There are some photos and information about these pink carnations combined with some blue bellflowers in this post.
Perennial carnations are an old fashioned plant that have many good qualities. They have a pleasing fragrance, pretty flowers, and slender grey toned leaves. I used to grow Dianthus plumarius (cottage pinks) too, but the last ones died out now. Do you grow any types of Dianthus?